THE IMPORTANCE OF DENTAL IMPLANTS: 4 WAYS THEY CAN IMPACT FACIAL STRUCTURE
These days, more and more patients are opting for dental implants when they lose a tooth. At You First Dental in Airdrie, we are happy to assist patients with their dental implant needs in a comfortable, caring environment.
What Are Dental Implants and why does You First recommend them?
To fully understand the impact dental implants can have it’s important to first understand how they work.
Dental implants are like your natural teeth. A titanium base is surgically placed into your jawbone, taking the place of the root of your missing tooth.
On top of the implant, a well trained You First dentist places a crown that looks like a real tooth. With the crown, you can talk, chew, and clean it just like you normally would.
Dental implants are becoming a popular missing tooth option amongst dentists for replacing missing teeth for the following reasons:
- It’s Easier to Eat – With an implant, it’s easier to eat nutrient-rich foods, like raw fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds.
- You Have Better Alignment – Each tooth relies upon its neighbors to maintain proper alignment. If one tooth is missing, the others will shift to fill in the space. This strains the other teeth, as well as the muscles of the head and neck and the jaw joints.
- The Body Responds Well to Titanium – It’s easier for the implant to integrate into the bone, a process called osseointegration. This makes the implant more stable than other options that don’t rely on bony integration.
- Dental implants are Durable – The implant success rate is up to 98%. With proper care, they can last for years, decades – even a lifetime. This makes them a great investment.
- Better Alignment Leads to a Healthier Body – Misalignment can lead to clenching or grinding your teeth. This can result in TMJ disorder, pain, and sleepless nights. That, in turn, can put you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.
4 Ways Dental Implants Can Improve the Structure of Your Face
In addition to disturbing your sleep and causing TMJ disorder, missing teeth can also have a profound effect on facial structure. Dental implants can help with facial asymmetries and imbalances. Here’s how.
1. Dental Implants Promote Proper Tooth and Jaw Alignment
By filling in the empty spaces left by missing teeth, implants can keep the teeth and jaw in alignment which can improve or maintain your facial structure.
2. Implants Can Reduce Jaw Bone Shrinkage
Over time, if missing teeth aren’t replaced, the jawbone in and around the area of the missing tooth/teeth will lose its density and shrink. This can result in a sunken appearance.
Thankfully, a single implant, or multiple implants that secure a full denture, can remedy this situation. The implants keep the bone dense and strong, leaving your facial structure looking full and more youthful.
3. Dental Implants Can Prevent Further Tooth Damage
Tooth damage increases because more pressure/stress is put upon the remaining teeth. Eventually, you may end up with cracked or broken teeth, which can lead to a root canal or extraction.
An implant will prevent the other teeth from shifting, reduce the pressure upon them, and provide stabilization for the jaw.
4. The Body Will Continue to Adapt to the Implants
As time progresses, the body will continue to adapt to the titanium implant. The bone around it will get stronger and denser, which means your facial structure will remain intact as long as you have the implants.
How to Find out If Dental Implants Are Right for You
Should you get dental implants if you have missing teeth? Your Airdrie dentist at You First Dental will be able to tell you whether you’re a good candidate for them or not.
In some cases, patients need to have an additional procedure called a bone graft if they don’t have enough bone. And in other cases, they may need to make lifestyle changes (like smoking cessation) before their dentist will recommend an implant.
If you end up with dental implants, you won’t regret that you got them.
You’ll experience better chewing, fewer dental problems, and a fuller, more youthful appearance. With all of those perks, you’ll find that getting implants can even improve your confidence and self-esteem.
Are you interested in learning more about dental implants or our affordable payment plans for dental implants? Contact us for an exam and consultation. The team at You First Dental can help you determine whether dental implants are the best option for your missing teeth.
If you’re like most people, the thought of losing one of your adult teeth is a scary one. It’s not something that’s supposed to happen – they’re called permanent teeth for a reason, right?
But sometimes – due to decay, gum disease, or trauma – people lose an adult tooth.
Once this happens, the question often arises: Should I get the missing tooth replaced?
As a practice, we advocate for tooth replacement.
Today, we’ll explain why it’s important to replace missing teeth. And then, we’ll review the three options you have for replacement: dental implants, bridges, and dentures.
The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
Losing a tooth can have a negative impact on your self-esteem. People just don’t feel as youthful or attractive as they did with a full set of teeth.
And even more importantly, losing a tooth impacts your dental health too.
If a tooth isn’t replaced, the surrounding tissues will start to shift. The gum and bone will recede because there’s no root to hold it in place. The adjacent teeth will shift to fill the space.
These shifts can cause the following issues:
- Jaw Pain and Broken Teeth: There’s a reason our teeth align the way they do – it creates a balanced bite. When you remove a key piece, it throws everything off. This can put strain on head and neck muscles, as well as the jaw joint. The extra pressure on the remaining teeth can also result in cracked or broken teeth.
- Decay and Gum Disease: As the teeth shift to fill in the open space, they can become difficult to clean. Some dental tools aren’t designed to adequately clean the angles created by the shifting teeth. This can result in decay as well as gum disease.
What Are Your Options?
To regain the balance a patient had before they lost a tooth, I recommend one of the following replacement options.
1. Dental Implants
An implant is made up of three parts: an implant (titanium screw into the bone), abutment (part of the implant that extends into the mouth), and crown or denture (restoration that has a natural tooth appearance).
A bridge is a permanently cemented appliance. At least two abutments and a pontic make up the bridge. The abutments are crowns that fit onto the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. The pontic is a fake tooth that fills in the space.
3. Removable Partial or Full Dentures
Dentures are a removable appliance that can replace a couple of teeth or all of them. Most patients find this the least desirable option when dealing with one or only a few missing teeth.
Why You Might Choose Dental Implants Over Other Tooth Replacement Options
Why do we recommend dental implants?
One reason is because a dental implant is like a real tooth. You can floss, brush, and eat normally.
Another reason is because the implant stabilizes the bone. And the crown that fits onto the implant abutment doesn’t allow the surrounding teeth to shift.
Another perk of dental implants is that they’re a great option regardless of how many teeth you’re missing.
What can you expect from the implant process?
We start off by removing the tooth or what remains of it, if it’s not already missing. Then, we evaluate if you need a bone graft or not. If some of the bone has resorbed, there might not be enough bone to support an implant, so a bone graft is necessary.
The next step is the implant surgery, where we place the implant screw into the jaw bone. It takes a couple of months for the implant to integrate into the bone. But eventually, the bone will start growing around the implant, making it very stable.
After this process has taken place, we’ll place the abutment onto the implant which allows us to take an impression. A lab tech uses this impression to fabricate a well-fitting crown, or a bridge or dentures if we need to replace multiple teeth.
Finally, when we get the crown, bridge, or denture back from the lab, we try it in and make adjustments if necessary. Then, we finish up by cementing the crown or bridge in place. Dentures simply snap into place – no cement is necessary.
Do You Have Dental Phobias? We Can Help!
If you need to have an extraction or already have a missing tooth, we urge you to consider replacing it with a dental implant. Doing so will help you avoid bone resorption and preserve the adjacent teeth.
We understand, if you’re hesitant to proceed with something like dental implants. This type of procedure can sound really intimidating to someone who has even the smallest amount of dental fear.
Please come in for a free consultation and to explore if you would be an ideal candidate for an implant. We would also like to hear about any fears or concerns you might have, so we can discuss options to help you feel as comfortable and calm as possible!
Schedule an appointment online here or call us at (403) 948-3342.